I'm an assistant professor of research methods in the School of Public and International Affairs at NC State University.
From 2019 to 2023, I was a research associate in the College of Engineering, Design, and Computing and
a scholar in residence in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. During this time, I taught graduate courses on
evidence-based decision-making, public policy analysis, and research and analytic methods.
My primary research interest lies in the social science applications of full-stack data analytics, which integrates understanding of social problems, creating and managing databases, deploying models based on statistics and machine learning algorithms, developing systems and software for continuous and reliable data generation and processing, and communicating data to promote data-informed decision-making. Topics of interest include neural networks for natural language processing and computer vision, data mining, geospatial data science, network analysis using big data, machine learning algorithms for prediction, applied software development, data visualization, and data-centric AI for systematic data engineering in social science research.
I have domain expertise in US energy policy and the energy transition such as the adoption of renewable and distributed energy resources. But I've also collaborated with researchers who focus on public health and environmental sustainability, and I apply full-stack data analytics in these domains. My work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including Energy Policy, Policy Studies Journal and SSM - Population Health among others, and my research has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times and Washington Post. I have a strong foundation in institutional analysis, and my research is often informed by transaction cost economics and collective action frameworks. For more information, please see the Research page. When I'm not at work, I enjoy hiking, dancing, practicing yoga, playing the piano, trying new recipes, reading books, watching movies, and attending performing arts shows and college and professional basketball games.
Computational social scientist with domain expertise in energy policy, renewable energy adoption, public perception of renewable energy, institutional analysis, and collective action
- 2221 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27607
MS in Computer Science
University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO
Courses Taken: Natural Language Processing, Software Engineering, Data Science Teams, Network Analysis and Modeling, Geographic Information Systems, Data Mining, Machine Learning, Entrepreneurial Projects, Computer Graphics, Neural Networks and Deep Learning, Big Data Analytics: Systems, Algorithms, and Applications
PhD in Public Administration
Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Dissertation: Essays on U.S. Renewable Energy and Sustainability Policy
BA in Public Administration & Economics (Dual Major)
Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea
August 2023 -
School of Public and International Affairs, NC State University
- Teach and research social science research methods
Senior Instructor & Scholar in Residence
2019 - July 2023
School of Public Affairs, CU Denver
- Taught 27 sections of four graduate courses
- Served as the public policy analysis concentration director
Postdoctoral Research Associate
2021 - July 2023
College of Engineering, Design, and Computing, CU Denver
- Research on the energy transition to renewables and vehicle electrification
- Offered multiple workshop sessions on distributed energy resources
2020 - Present
The Schreiber Research Group
- Big data collection and management
- Geospatial and text data analysis and visualization
2015 - 2018
Askew School of Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University
- Implementing surveys and conducting interviews with local government employees
Data Analysis Skills & Tech Stack
Data Engineering & Management
Spatial Data Science & Engineering
Machine Learning (ML) & Neural Networks
Network Analysis & Modeling
Applied Software Development
Surveys & Interviews
I am passionate about fostering data literacy and providing robust computing education for students in social and behavioral sciences and humanities. My courses are designed to help students read, analyze, interpret, visualize, and communicate data effectively as well as to understand the use of data in decision-making. I believe data literacy and computing skills can empower students to engage with important socioeconomic and environmental issues and promote equity and inclusion in learning outcomes. Students in my classes are from various academic disciplines, including urban and regional planning, public policy, business administration, sociology, economics, criminal justice, public health, information science, and civil engineering, among others. Please find the syllabi below.
My research lies at the intersection of data science and social issues, including energy transition, environmental problems, climate change, natural disasters, and public health. I aspire to leverage critical developments in computer science for addressing grand challenges in sustainability, energy, social equity, public health, and more. My recent and ongoing research projects can be organized by the following four subjects. This section is being updated as of August 2023.
- Energy Transition
- Environmental Sustainability
- Public Health
- Collective Action
Social Stigma in Substance Use Disorder
Social media analysis, Big Data, GIS
Solar Photovoltaic Deployment
Solar adoption, computer vision, neural network, machine learning
Public Sentiment Toward Solar Energy
Pubic opinion, natural language processing, BERT, machine learning
Building Energy Use Benchmarking Policy Design
Energy use intensity, machine learning
Power Outage Vulnerability
resilience, geospatial data science, software engineering
Racial Segregation in Substance Use Treatment Facilities
Panel data analysis, data mining, document analysis, GIS
EV, bidirectional charging, WTP survey experiment, cost benefit analysis
Policy Commitments to Green Affordable Housing
Survey, machine learning, process tracing, US Local Governments
Renewable Energy Policy Diffusion
Innovation and diffusion, network analysis, international policy
Airport Solar Projects
Institutional analysis, statistical analysis, interviews
Urban-Rural Disparities in Substance Use Policy
Statistical analysis, survey weights
Conflict Across Energy Infrastructure
Energy infrastructure siting decisions; regression, interviews, mixd methods
Strategies for Planning Sustainable Development
US local sustainability policy, case study, interviews
Institutional Collective Action Framework
Transaction cost theory, institutional analysis, Theoretical articles
Aug 2023 Awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Strengthening American Infrastructure (SAI) Grant (Co-PI): Integration of Electric Vehicles and the Electric Grid ($750,000).
Jul 2023 New article, "Spatial Distribution of Solar PV Deployment: An Application of the Region-Based Convolutional Neural Network" on EPJ Data Science
Apr 2023 New article, "Electricity peak shaving for commercial buildings using machine learning and vehicle to building (V2B) system," in Applied Energy.
Sep 2022 Poster presentation, "Spatial Distribution of Solar PV Deployment: An Application of the Region-Based Convolutional Neural Network," at The Rocky Mountain Celebration of Women in Computing 2022.
Aug 2022 Quoted in the article "Dulles solar farm would be the nation's largest at an airport," The Washington Post.
Jun 2022 A talk on "Big Data, Public Policy, and Distributed Energy Resources" at the Institute for Regulatory Law and Economics (IRLE)-Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) workshop in Boulder
Jun 2022 A talk on "Polycentric Governance and Collective Action in Energy Transition" at the IRLE-RMI workshop in Boulder
Mar 2022 Grant awarded: "Community Microgrids for Energy Resilience and Emergency Planning" by the University of Colorado Denver Office of Research Services.
Feb 2022 New article, "The Distribution of Conflict and Attention Across Energy Infrastructure," in Public Administration.
Feb 2022 Talk at the 2022 IRLE workshop for graduate students, "Geospatial Data Science and Energy Research" University of Colorado Denver.
Oct 2021 Grant awarded: "Electric Vehicles (EVs) as a Tool for Energy Efficiency and Resilience" by the University of Colorado Denver CRC Faculty Interdisciplinary Fellowship.
Feb 2021 New article, "Public Sentiment toward Solar Energy—Opinion Mining of Twitter Using a Transformer-Based Language Model" in Sustainability.
Nov 2020 A guest talk at the seminar, "Dismantling Racism and Inequity in our Schools," in the School of Education, University of Colorado Denver.
Oct 2020 Grant awarded: “Integrated Solar Energy for Sustainable, Resilient, and Equitable Communities" by the Presidential Initiative on Urban and Place-Based Research.
Sep 2020 My paper, "Institutional Arrangements and Airport Solar PV," in Energy Policy, was featured in media outlets including Colorado Politics, International Business Times, Science Daily, The Gazette, Solar Daily, AZO Materials and Oklahoma Energy Today.
MAY 2020 A talk on "Survey Response Bias and Survey Weights" at The Schreiber Research Group.
Please reach out if you are interested in collaborating with me.
Data scientist and computational social scientist with domain expertise in energy policy, renewable energy adoption, public perception of renewable energy, institutional analysis, and collective action
2221 Hillsborough St
Raleigh, NC 27607
serena_kim "at" ncsu "dot" edu